In Honour Of “The Hunger Games” – 5 Film Adaptations That Are Better Than The Book They’re Based On
I appear to be one of the few people on planet earth who actually disliked Suzanne Collins’ book “The Hunger Games”. All is not lost for me yet however there’s still time for me to clamber aboard the Hunger Games gravy train with the rest of you with director Gary Ross bringing the Hunger Games to the big screen.
So in honour of this here’s Down With Films top films that are better than the books they are based on.
I love Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, along with “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” it’s my go to when I’m between books or if I have a few hours to kill. The Fight Club universe is one I always love going back to and immersing myself in. The film though is a masterful display of directing by David Fincher. He expands on themes, drops the odd side plot and in turn produced the best work of his career.
Time to buckle in for a poorly imagined analogy for Fight Club
It’s like listening to your favourite song, now reading the book of Fight Club is like listening to just the lead guitar on Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana. It would be enjoyable experience and it would allow you to marvel at the brilliance of each note being played. However given the choice you want to hear the song with the whole band and that’s what Fincher’s adaptation of Fight Club is for me.
Terrible analogies aside the book is great, the film is even better. Simple test; read Fight Club and try not to hear Ed Norton’s voice as the narrator, it’s completely impossible.
I’ve really thought about this, it’s not that Mario Puzo’s original novel is articularly bad, it’s that Francis Ford Coppola adaptation is as nuanced and as layered as you could ever imagine. That’s something that was missing from the novel, it felt slightly formulaic. The book just doesn’t hold a candle to the beauty of the film.
Now I don’t dislike Peter Benchley’s novel, it’s a perfectly solid thriller of men overcoming insurmountable odds. The problem I had when reading the novel was some of the elements of melodrama that really didn’t seem needed and almost made some of the characters unlikable. For example (SPOILER FOR A BOOK RELEASED IN 1974) in the book Chief Brody’s wife has an affair with Hooper, Richard Dreyfus’s character in the film. There’s other little things aswell that just make the novel a less enjoyable experience than the film.
The novel also doesn’t have the wonderful Indianapolis monologue from Quint as this was written in the first draft of the script for the film. So for that reason alone the movie wins.
It really doesn’t matter how good the Michael Crichton book is, I will always remember the sheer awe my ten-year old self felt while watching Jurassic Park. Even now when I see Jurassic Park I’m taken straight back to that emotion.
That noise you hear in the distance is the sound of a million rabid Twilight fans screaming and attempting to punch the internet, but in all seriousness the book is basically unreadable. Yes I have read about the 200 pages of the first book in the “saga” (Long story short, it was raining on holiday and I had nothing to do so I subjected myself to about 200 pages of nonsense.) The book is basically every single every single romantic novel cliché all tied up in a big sparkly vampire shaped bow. For those frozen in ace for the last few years Twilight is basically the story of a young girl who wants to get laid by a Vampire. That’s it, no more no less. No doubt fans of the series will throw all types of stuff into the mix (I’m looking at you gay Werewolves) but at its core it’s about a self obsessed girl who wants dick.
Now the film adaptation itself has all the same problems as the book. It has the awful dialogue, the clichés, the none existent plotting and sparkly vampires. However what it does have is a sense of irony and almost parody. It’s a film that knows what it is and is comfortable in its own skin. Unlike the rest of the films in the series Twilight never once takes itself seriously. It’s not a “good” film by any stretch of the imagination but it’s a damn site better than the unmitigated tosh that was the source material.
So that’s our list, let us know in the usual places if you agree/disagree and all that rhubarb